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Spanning across the six weeks of Lent each year, Project Compassion brings thousands of Australian schools, parishes and supporters together to raise funds for people living in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

The theme for Project Compassion is For All Future Generations, and this year, Caritas Australia brings you the stories of three resilient women from different corners of the world – all united in their dream of creating a better tomorrow for all future generations.


Memory grew up in the Mwanza district in southern Malawi with her parents and four siblings. Her parents are subsistence farmers who depend on their crops for survival leaving them vulnerable to the seasons, leading to food insecurity. While girls in Malawi often drop out of school and enter either low income paid work or domestic labour, Memory was selected by local leaders as a candidate for a vocational skills course. With support from CADECOM, Caritas Australia’s local partner in Malawi, Memory trained in carpentry to prove that women can work in male-dominated industries. She now works for one of Malawi’s largest hydroelectric power companies. She is also a role model and trailblazer for other young women.

“In the future, I want to build a house for my parents because the one they are using now is in a bad condition. I also want to own my own workshop, so I can help the community and employ others in the community.”

“Being a female carpenter sets an example to others in my community. They see a woman can do what a man can do,” Memory said.


Ronita is a 22-year-old mother-of-two living in a slum in the Philippines. Her husband works seven days a week in waste disposal, from 3am to 9pm each day. It is exhausting, laborious work, made harder by the very hot climate. Despite this, Ronita and her husband are only able to rent a very small brick room measuring around 10 square metres.

Growing up, Ronita’s family faced many challenges. She grew up with her mum, who worked three jobs because Ronita’s father left their family. Ronita has two brothers who married young and never finished school. Ronita left school when she became pregnant as a teenager and was at risk of never re-entering the education system after having her first child at 17. With the support of Caritas Australia’s learning and development centre partner in the Philippines, the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), Ronita resumed her studies. She has since secured a job at a call centre, which required a Grade 12 Senior High School Diploma to apply.

“One day I hope I will be schoolteacher, just like Ma’am Jen and Ma’am Grace,” (her former teachers at FCJ), Ronita said. “I feel hopeful for the future… Now it’s not impossible for me to achieve my dream… Thank you for that.”


Leaia lives on the island of Upolu in Samoa with her five children, her husband, brother, and sister-in-law. Their home is built from recycled scraps and is not connected to a piped water system. Her family used to rely solely on rainwater collected in old fridges, and when their water ran out, she had to walk with her young children to collect water in buckets and containers from a neighbour down the street. The school water supply was also unclean.

“If there isn’t enough water the kids can’t go to school because the water supply at school isn’t clean… Part of their morning routine is to shower before school, so if there’s not enough water, they can’t attend school. It becomes unhygienic for them,” Leaia said.

With the support of Caritas Australia’s local partner, Caritas Samoa, a water tank was installed in Leaia’s home to harvest rainwater, giving her family a consistent supply, and improving their health and living conditions. The time that was previously used to collect drinking water can now be used for other essential tasks and, most importantly, her children don’t have to miss out on school.


This Lent, your generosity can help Caritas Australia to continue lifting vulnerable people like Memory, Ronita and Leaia out of poverty. Together, we can help vulnerable communities face their challenges today and build a better tomorrow For All Future Generations.

Schools, Parishes, organisations and individuals are encouraged to donate, as well as walk, swim, cycle or run as part of Caritas Ks, host their own events, such as raffles or trivia nights, or give something up for Lent. All in the name of compassion in action.

Those wanting to support Project Compassion can download resources or join a Mission in Action Webinar to learn more about Caritas Australia’s development programs at

To donate, look out for the Project Compassion donation boxes, visit the website, or call 1800 024 413 toll free.


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